For a seaside holiday vibe, make your way to Cowes on Phillip Island.
Why not spend your day lazing on the beach or at a seaside eatery. Then meander around the town to shop for souvenirs and artisan wares while you cool off on the foreshore. For some Cowes history explore the Cowes Cultural Centre or check out the local museum. Both these facilities will fill you in on all you need to know about the picturesque Phillip Island.
For some real relaxing, lie back at one of the town's luxurious day spas, play a round of golf, and go for a strike at the ten-pin bowling club.
Take the family out on a hire boat from the Cowes launch or join a cruise around the Seal Rocks. Another water taxi will ferry you around the Westernport Bay to Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula or to French Island. Why not follow up your day trip with a visit to Phillip Island Nature Park to see penguins and other Australian natural wildlife.
If you need something to keep the kids intrigued take them to A Maze’N Things, a park full of optical illusions, puzzles and mazes that will have you confused and rolling around with laughter. Another attraction for kids and parents alike is the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit which allows you to have go and go-karting!
If you’re visiting Cowes on Phillip Island the weather is somewhat mild – milder than Melbourne and is tempered by breezes off the ocean. The temperature for February is around 25°C (76.5°F), while for July it’s a mere 13.5°C (56.1°F). June is the wettest month of the year whereas most of the year there is a south-westerly wind which blows in off Bass Strait.
An old-fashioned seaside resort on Philips Island, Cowes is perfect for a relaxed seaside holiday for couples or for families. There’s plenty to see or do so you and any children that you have with you will never be bored. Or, if you just want to chill out, head down the beach and enjoy sunbathing and ice cream.
In Cowes, holiday accommodation is plentiful. You’ll find something that suits whether you’re looking for a serviced apartment or a holiday villa in Cowes. There’s also a good range of places to eat out if you don’t fancy cooking, including informal seaside pubs as well as upmarket restaurants.
There’s a lot to do in and around Cowes. For any petrol heads, the Philip Island Grand Prix Centre is a must. It has Australia’s largest slot-car track, go karting, circuit tours and displays on the history of motor racing.
You can also visit the Philip Island Nature Park. The tiny penguins are the highlight for both children and adults, although there are plenty of other cute native critters that you’ll love seeing in the wild.
Kids will also love the A Maze’N Things theme park, which is full of optical illusions, puzzles and amazing sculptures, as well as the maze itself, which is one of the largest is Australia.
If you’re into more grown-up pursuits, then don’t worry – there’s plenty on offer. Phillip Island has several wineries, which are open to tasting. There are also a number of fantastic souvenir shops, which sell unique local arts and crafts.
Cooking enthusiasts who are renting a holiday home in Cowes should then head to one of the island’s farmers markets to get some fantastic produce. You’ll find cheeses, wines, and plenty of meat to cook on the barbecue at your Cowes holiday rental.
Alternatively, there are plenty of friendly restaurants and bars that will be only too happy to feed you. Try the local seafood for a real treat.
There are some attractions off the island that are within easy reach, too. Melbourne is around 2 hours away, and can easily be visited as a day trip. The Mornington Peninsula, with its wineries and spas, can be reached by a short hop on a ferry.
If you just want to relax and aren’t into rushing around visiting all the attractions, then consider booking self-contained holiday accommodation in Cowes. Some accommodation options have everything you might need on site, including barbecue areas, swimming pools and extensive gardens – perfect for kids or pets to run around in!
The temperature in Cowes is relatively moderate compared to many places in Victoria. The average daily high summer temperature is around 17C, with January and February the warmest months. This is the busiest season, and summer visitors should book their Cowes holiday house well in advance.
In June and July, the average daily high can be as low as 2C. If you’re visiting Cowes in winter, then take warm clothes and book a holiday apartment with heating.